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Celebrating 20 years of service in Boston!

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Celebrating 20 years of service in Boston!

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Polly Flansburgh FAIA




Polly Flansburgh FAIA
President Emerita, Boston By Foot
Women in Design Award of Excellence, 2009 winner

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Boston By Foot would not exist without the vision and enthusiasm of Polly Flansburgh. Always an architectural enthusiast, she was inspired by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Bicentennial spirit sweeping the nation in 1976. With the encouragement of her husband and architect Earl Flansburgh, she founded the organization as a way to broaden public awareness of Boston’s distinct history and diverse architectural treasures.

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She envisioned a community of energetic volunteers with a commitment to lifelong learning who would share their passion for Boston’s amazing cityscape and encourage exploration of the city’s neighborhoods. Boston By Foot has certainly fulfilled that vision and has grown more than Polly ever imagined. There were just two tours initially, including Centers of Government Old and New and Beacon Hill, and first year attendance totaled 316. Boston By Foot has now expanded to include nine regularly offered walking tours, an Architecture Cruise, over 100 tours in the archive, 200 active volunteers and an annual attendance of nearly 20,000.

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In addition to founding Boston By Foot in 1976, Polly is an honorary member of the Boston Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects and a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Victorian Society of America/New England Chapter and an honorary Doctorate of Community Engagement from the Boston Architectural College.

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Currently enjoying her retirement, Polly’s knack for bringing Boston’s past and architectural heritage to life for new generations is evident in every tour. She remains a continuing source of inspiration for all at Boston By Foot.

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